Moral Distance

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For close to half a century, Western elites have been trying to reverse many aspects of the industrial revolution that made the West possible. It started in the United States with the off-shoring of whole industries to the third world. Around the same time, the environmental movement shifted from conservation to proselytizing against the things that modern people take for granted. The fictional concept of climate change was invented as an authority to justify the great deindustrialization.

At the heart of it all is energy. You cannot watch a television program or view a YouTube clip without being hit on the head about good energy. They have lots of ways of saying good energy, like renewable energy, clean energy and green energy, but all of these slogans are just ways of saying good energy. Of course, that means there is bad energy and that is always the cheap energy. Gasoline is bad. Coal is bad. They may be efficient and cheap, but they are bad, very bad.

The thing about good and bad, as moral concepts, is they are usually judged by the distance from the person passing judgment. We are tuned to oppose immoral acts, so if we see one up close and personal, our response is stronger than if we hear about the same act third hand at a dinner party. The guy we do not know very well who is caught cheating on his wife effects us far less than seeing the neighbor having men over while her husband is away at work.

Moral distance is at the heart of the long running scheme by Western elites to remove from their sight the things they find immoral. They inherited from Marxism the notion that industrial work in dehumanizing. They do not want to see big dirty factories full of working class men sweating away to make their stuff. They do not want to give up the stuff, so the solution was to move the plant to Mexico or China. Replace the plant with a dog park and voila! The world is a better place.

The same mindset is at work with so-called green energy. The truth of the matter is all of the green energy schemes range from stupid to the impractical. The appeal is not economic or environmental. The appeal is aesthetic. The idea of windmills quietly generating electricity out there in the countryside where the beautiful people rarely visit makes for a pleasant image. The magical place that turns biomass into electricity sounds great as long as you do not live near it.

This is why nuclear remains on the bad list. If the image of the nuclear power plant was an underground facility, with a lovely little forest above it, the greens would love the idea of nuclear energy. Instead, the image of a nuke plant is the giant concrete cooling towers belching what the greens thing is bad stuff. It is just water vapor, but it looks bad so it must be bad. That windmill farm may be an abattoir for the eagle population but it looks nicer than the nuke plant.

This function follows form mentality of the bourgeois managerial class is at the heart of the current crisis in Europe. They hated the sight of their energy system, so they have been slowly shifting it out of sight. No one could see those giant gas pipelines or the massive holding facilities. Everyone could feel like heroes for closing the coal plants and refineries, while enjoying cheap energy. The ugliness of reality had been sent east to Russia, so it was out of sight and out of mind.

This arrangement worked great until Washington decided to pick a fight with Europe’s largest energy supplier. The entirety of the European economy has been based on cheap energy from the east, but now that is gone. Europe is now forced to buy expensive energy from other places. This is slowly cratering the economy of Europe, leading to a great deindustrialization of the continent. All of a sudden, those good aesthetics are coming with a very steep price.

The fact is, Europe can remain a modern society if it accepts the costs that come from being a modern society. Those costs are some sad women sobbing over the ugly cooling towers or the sight of men working in factories. Cheap food and warm homes come with smokestacks and refineries. When you pick up one end of that stick you must pick up the other end. Europe is plunging itself into darkness so the ruling class can continue to play make believe.

That is fundamentally the issue. The ruling classes of the West no longer have some external measure against which they can gauge their piety. Christianity has long ago been purged from the ruling elites. The old moral framework of liberalism was abandoned out of expedience. What has filled the void is a weird, sterile aesthetic that seeks to remove all traces of the human condition. The so-called green movement is central to this cult of reality avoidance.

Reality does not go away when you stop believing in it. This is what Europe is now facing with their energy crisis. Next up is a food crisis. This is against the backdrop of the demographic crisis, which is another aspect of the same disease. The unwillingness of elites to accept biological reality has the same roots as their unwillingness to accept the economic reality behind the modern age. We are ruled by people at war with humanity because they cannot face the human condition.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


A 20th Century Lesson

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At the heart of libertarianism is the claim that in order to fully enjoy your natural rights you must be free of coercion. That is, you are not subject to the claims of other people either directly or indirectly. The only direct claim a person has on another person is the enforcement of a contract. Similarly, you can demand that whole society respects your autonomy and property rights. Otherwise, no person in a libertarian society has a claim on any other person in the society.

Simplifying it, the libertarian society assumes you have absolute dominion over yourself, outside of the narrow exceptions for the enforcement of contracts and the defense of private property. More important, maybe most important, members of a libertarian society have an obligation to respect the autonomy of others. The social contract, if you will, gives members the maximum liberty, in exchange for the maximum amount of minding your own business.

Hans Hermann-Hoppe identified two unsolved problems within libertarian theory that he has spent a long time trying to solve. One is that there is no way within libertarian theory to go from our current societies to a libertarian one. The other problem is there is no way within libertarian theory to police a libertarian society. The non-aggression principle rules out coercion as a way to keep people from straying from libertarianism into something like socialism or even communism.

It is the first problem that has occupied the minds of libertarians. How can we get from where we are now to even a few steps down the road toward paradise? One effort has been to convince people to become libertarians. Proselytizing has always been a central part of the movement, which is why many people outside of the libertarian subculture view it as something like a cult. The libertarian, like the vegetarian, is always ready to announce his membership in the cause.

The proselytizing has always come with an eye on politics. In theory, libertarians must reject the premise of liberal democracy. The closest they can come is some sort of democratic process for settling direct and indirect claims. Otherwise, there is no role for the state so there is no reason to have elections. Even so, libertarians have tried to use the democratic process to change the law in their favor. The legalization of drugs, for example, has been a main cause of libertarians.

A lot has been made about the effect this has had on conservatism. Way back in the last century, Frank Meyer cooked up a new formula for the American right that brought libertarians into an alliance with traditionalists and neoconservatives. This Cold War coalition would make up what was called the conservative movement. After the end of communism, this coalition fell apart. Today it is nearly impossible to see the difference between libertarianism and mainstream conservatism.

Something else happened during the last century. The contact with mainstream liberal democratic politics deranged libertarianism. Some libertarians, the left-libertarians, transformed into corporate libertines. In exchange for a comfortable lifestyle, they promote every degenerate fad of the left in the name of freedom. The left-libertarians have been enthusiastic for every subversive cultural fad, as long as it came with fat donations from corporate sponsors.

Right-libertarians have largely avoided the cultural issues, instead focusing all of their energy on the power of the state. Ron Paul has been the best known of the bunch, fashioning a political career as a platform to promote libertarianism. At the heart of his argument is the assumption that once the state is removed from the lives of people, the cultural questions will answer themselves. It is the state that puts its thumb on the cultural scale, creating the culture war.

It is a nifty bit of logic, which turns the old Marxist formulation on its head. Marx said that once you get the morality right, there is no need for politics. That is, once everyone has the same morality, there is no need to debate public policy. The friend enemy distinction goes away as we all share the same goals. Ron Paul argues that once you get the politics right, the moral issues settle themselves. Without an active state, there is no need for culture and therefore no culture war.

The last ten years has provided a test for that theory. It has also brought us back around to that second conflict within libertarianism identified by Hoppe. Over the last decade, corporations have assumed greater power over the lives of citizens and they have become active in directing the culture of society. On the one hand we have non-government elements of society that are trying to coerce others. On the other hand, that coercion is specifically over cultural issues.

For left-libertarians, this has not been a problem. They sold out to corporate interests long ago so this works fine. If you do not like Apple sexualizing your kids and funding grooming gangs, just start your own trillion dollar tech company. Interestingly, this approach was aped by neocons like Ben Shapiro. He was a leading voice in the “just build your own internet” phase of the crisis. The neocon – libertarian nexus is something that warrants further exploration.

Putting that aside, the right-libertarians have had a dilemma. You cannot on the one hand put personal independence at the top of your moral hierarchy and at the same time ignore or excuse the grotesque abuse of basic rights by corporations. The solution has been something like what you see in this Ron Paul post. You see, the tech giants are not rampaging through the culture and trampling your rights because they want to do it, they are doing it to please the state.

After a long story about Ed Markey howling for censorship, Paul writes, “Big tech companies silence their users to curry favor with politicians and bureaucrats, often after “encouragement” from politicians and bureaucrats. Therefore, to end big tech’s censorship, Americans should demand that all government officials — including the president — not violate the First Amendment.” You see, that army of scolds hired by Twitter was to please the state, not the shareholders.

The reason Ron Paul and other libertarians cling to this ridiculous idea that corporations are unwilling participants in the culture war is that they have no answer to the problem of corporate activism within libertarian theory. In fact, to even acknowledge such a thing as corporate activism blows a hole in libertarianism. The whole point of libertarianism is the maximizing of freedom. If it has no way to defend your freedom from powerful members of society, then why would anyone be a libertarian?

Of course, this is the problem Hoppe identified years ago. Individualism is a wonderful concept as long as it exists within a collective outer shell. In other words, the extreme individualism expressed by libertarianism works only if everyone has been so thoroughly conditioned by a pre-existing cultural framework that no one within the libertarian society would ever consider coercion. Libertarian man must be the result of severe cultural programming.

This is why Marx still matters and von Mises does not. Marx was wrong about many things, but he was correct about one big thing. If you get the morality right, then everything else falls into place. Politics is therefore about getting the morality right, even imposing morality on the whole, in order to make it possible for the citizens to maximize their life within society. Put another way, the point of political struggle is to define “who we are” and then put an end to the debate.

In the fullness of time, the 20th century will be viewed as a long human experiment with the ideas of the 18th and 18th century. Various forms of socialism, communism and libertarianism were put through their bloody paces, only to see all of them fail as an answer to the only question that matters. “Who we are” is the question every civilization must answer. That is a moral question. Perhaps the 21st century will be remembered for finally having answered that question properly.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Survival Of Rights

Note #1: There will be no more Taki posts. I decided to bring that to a close in order to focus on other things. There is only so much time and I was stretched too thin so something had to go. I want to focus more on the pay-per-view content which has a steadily growing audience. You can sign up at SubscribeStar or Substack.


Note #2: I have received a few suggestions about other platforms like Gum Road and Locals, which is a Rumble creation. I am interested in any feedback from people familiar with these sites. RamZPaul is on Gum Road and the Duran guys are on Locals, but I know nothing about these platforms.


Given the current trajectory, it is reasonable to think that in the not too distant future some alien race will be digging through the rubble of humanity trying to figure out what happened to this strange species. Just as modern archeologists dig through ruins of ancient societies, trying to figure out what happened, those aliens will be doing the same with earth. They will dig through whatever is left, things like buildings, tools and cemeteries, piecing together the story of man.

The thing they will not find among the decaying buildings, rusting vehicles and collapsed bridges will be piles of human rights. They will not open a door of some oddly preserved building and find a bunch of skeletons who had found shelter along with their sacred human rights. In fact, they will probably find no trace of human rights or any discussion of the concept. Given that most of our knowledge is now digital, these sorts of things will be impossible to detect.

The main reason for this is human rights do not exist. They are a thing that humans invented late in the history of mankind. People say that human rights are real and point to various authorities to support the claim, but rights are not real things. They exist only as a figment of our imagination, like the concept of lust. No other species has this concept so it is possible the aliens will not understand it either. It will be as alien to them as our entirely made up concept of human rights.

That is something to keep in mind when people of the so-called “new right” go on about the importance of natural rights. Here is an example from Michael Anton where he addresses the idea of historicism. This is the argument that all human thought is the product of its historical moment. Men in one period accept certain things to be true that men in a different period would not accept as true. Loosely put, mankind and its mental constructs are a product of time and place.

What we think of as conservative in North America rejects this claim. It starts from the assertion that all men come into this world with natural rights. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the pithy expression of this. The very loose argument here is that the natural world, including the human place in it, operates from fixed and observable rules. The laws of nature and nature’s god. From these rules we can tease out things like the rights of man.

A quite simple example is ownership. You are born into this world as the property of your parents who created you and raised you. At some point, you leave the ownership of your parents and become a free man. You own you. Because you own you, you must own your activity, your labor. If you own your labor, it stands to reason that you must own the fruits of your labor. Hence the concept of private property. Ownership traces to the laws of the universe, which is its authority.

There are similar arguments for all sorts of things we consider to be natural rights, like equality before the law and self-defense. Some of these rights have a strong connection to observation of nature. The right of self-defense is something we can see in all of nature, not just mankind. The right to a speedy trial and a jury of our peers takes a few leaps to find some root in the laws of nature. Regardless, the claim is natural rights are rooted in the authority of nature.

Michael Anton makes two important claims in his response to Paul Gottfried that are critical to the current crisis. One is that this idea of natural rights is not time bound as Gottfried claims, but universal and timeless. Even when we were not aware of them, we had these natural rights. The other claim is that America, as currently constructed, can only exist if it is structured around the concept of natural rights. It is the only way a disparate people can coexist in a single society.

The first argument is what is called a gratuitous assertion. The logic of natural rights may be timeless, but it has always rested on something that is not timeless and that is a Christian concept of God and man’s relationship to God. In fact, it depends on a specific version of Christian belief. Many Christians reject the idea of a universe defined by fixed and unchanging rules. Other types of Christian reject that we can understand these rules, even if such a thing even exists.

The very loose foundation of the natural rights argument is that God is perfection and therefore he created the world without making mistakes. This means he has no reason to tinker with the rules. They never change. Further, when he created the world he had a purpose, just as a carpenter has a reason to make a cabinet. The world as we see it is not just random pointlessness. It is a world created with a purpose by God and it operates by a fixed set of rules.

If you reject this concept of God, then you reject what naturally flows from it, which is why the concept of natural rights is a cultural artifact. It is peculiar to European people, especially those west of the Hajnal line. Eastern Europe does not have a strong natural rights tradition, because they have a different conception of God. Muslims have no concept of rights because Allah is unknowable. Islam accepts that the rules of the universe are unknowable and therefore unpredictable.

In other words, we have no evidence that natural rights are universal and timeless, because the foundation lies outside of the realm of proof. If you accept the narrow idea of God and the universe he created, the natural rights arguments make sense, but if not then these arguments are nothing more than convenient inventions. The reason the phrase “I know my rights” means nothing in China is the Chinese lie outside the timeline of the people who invented the concept.

This brings us to the second point, which is that the only way America can function is if we all agree on this mental framework. This is the social contract argument updated for a modern audience, the people who now live as strangers in their own lands. Instead of the claim that we voluntarily came together and agreed to live by a set of cultural and political rules in the same society, the argument now is we better convince the new majority that we have to live by these rules or else.

In this regard, Anton is correct. The demographic revolution is already leading to a cultural and political revolution. The only way America returns to something like its former self is if the new people embrace the old rules. If Nikki Haley, Hakeem Jeffries, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib embrace the logic of Thomas Jefferson, then maybe we can continue to function by the old rules. If they reject natural rights theory, then we will need new rules to accommodate the new people.

The fact that we have to have this discussion is bad news for the natural rights crowd as it assumes the new majority is not embracing Thomas Jefferson. In fact, they have been busy toppling his statues and erasing his name from the history books, along with all the other people responsible for the natural right tradition. Whatever claims one wants to make about the universality of natural rights, it is clear that the new people and their enablers are not embracing the concept.

Inadvertently, Anton is confirming Gottfried’s central claim. What we think of as our natural rights are a product of a specific people living in a specific time. They are no more universal than conception of God. Natural rights may be more than just a fad, like powdered wigs or waistcoats, but they are tied to a people. Like all traditions, they live on in the memories of the descendents of the people who invented them and once there are no more descendents to carry on the traditions, they are gone.

The fact is, natural rights are a thing that come naturally only to Western people, so they are no more universal than blue eyes. Sure, some people outside of Europe will have blue eyes or green eyes, but most will not because the genes for these things dominate only among Europeans. The same is true for the European understanding of the universe and man’s natural place in it. Natural rights are the product of traditions peculiar to European people.

The unanswered question in Anton’s piece and the entirety of the movement calling itself the “new right” is this. What happens when the new people reject the Western tradition of natural rights? Should they be forcibly removed? Should they be compelled to change their ways? Maybe give up their old gods and go through a rigorous training in Calvinist religious doctrine? After all, the concept of free choice is part of the natural rights tradition. What if they choose to reject this concept?

That brings us back to where we started. If those visiting space aliens arrive and find natural rights, it will be because they find societies based on them. Those societies will necessarily be controlled and dominated by people who invented the concept and make it their purpose to maintain them, no matter what. Survival of the fittest is just as much a part of natural law as free speech. More so, in fact. In order for rights to survive, the people who created them must survive.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


An Unnatural Death

Way back in the early days of the internet, those already on-line could not help but notice that the media was hilariously ignorant, but supremely confident, of this revolutionary new thing called the internet. On television, the people who claimed it was their job to keep the rest of us informed clearly knew nothing about this new “internet thing” or the people signing up for accounts. The print side of the media barely knew the internet existed and had no interest in it at all.

In those early days it was a glimpse into the weird combination of ignorance, insulation and confidence that defined the mass media. Television and radio are pure carnival acts, selecting for people who fit a role. The print side, the people engaged in “serious journalism”, are stenographers and cheerleaders, hoping to one day be noticed by the carnival operators so they can get on television. The whole thing is part of a large scale agitation campaign on behalf of the ruling class.

This is what makes the collapse of Twitter so amusing. The agitation machine that is the modern mass media was invited onto Twitter in the early days as a way to promote the product over the alternatives. Twitter was custom built for the slow-witted, but supremely confident people who make up mass media. All they needed to do is download an app, open it up and begin typing. Limiting it to short messages reduced the odds of them exposing their stupidity.

It did not take long before the mouth breathers of the Left followed the media onto the platform and it became an echo chamber. Of course, it did not take long before the enemies of this unholy alliance of the confidently stupid joined Twitter to mock and ridicule these people. For a short while it was amusing to see someone, probably posting from the john, wrecking the day of sanctimonious simpletons like David French or Max Boot, with mockery and irreverence.

Of course, that is why the whole thing was doomed. The agitation machine we call the media can only exist when the people inside of it are sure they are the intellectual vanguard, the cutting edge of history. That only works when they are not exposed to reality, which is what happened when they went on-line. It has been forgotten but the great censorship campaign began in the comment sections first and then spread to the rest of the internet. Twitter was late to the intolerance party.

Now the party is over. Contrary to the pained howling by conspiracy theorists like ADL leader Jonathan Greenblatt, Elon Musk did not buy Twitter as part of some five cushion bank shot plan to bring back you know who. Musk bought the company because he thinks you can have a successful platform that allows open debate with limited moderation. Elon Musk is a civic nationalist who still believes all the old liberal ideals about the marketplace of ideas.

Of course, we live in a post liberal age. The people with real power no longer hold those old liberal ideals. They see themselves as guardians of humanity who must carefully manage the choices of the people. They are the elite of the managerial system and as the elite, their job is not only to set the direction for humanity, but to make sure the rules are properly enforced. All of their chanting about democracy aside, theirs is a totalitarian dictatorship of the managerial elite.

This is why Musk’s project is doomed. For starters, the agitation machine known as the media cannot exist on a platform which allows criticism of the media. That risks holding a mirror up to them. The dimwitted scolds that follow them around demanding censorship of imaginary things like hate speech cannot exist on a platform that does not provide them protection. This is why they avoid Gab. If they start demanding censorship there, the response is mockery.

This why the media are threatening to stomp off in a huff to the Mastodon, the federated system of independently created nodes. Because they are stupid and do not know how anything works, they think that there is a trust and safety team there waiting for them to arrive from Twitter. These people are so insulated they just assume the internet works by magic, rather than people. Just wait until they learn that Gab is a node on the Mastodon system. That will be a fun day.

The bigger problem for the Musk project is that the people with real power, like the duopoly that controls the mobile device market, will make sure he is never able to create his civic nationalist paradise. Apple is preparing to remove Twitter from the Apple ecosystem and you can be sure Google is doing the same. After all, both companies work closely to prevent competition. They have long ago worked out how to cooperate on censorship issues.

Then there are the advertisers and purchasers of Twitter data. The main source of revenue for Twitter and all internet firms is the sale of user data. They sell this in packages to companies, market researchers, political campaigns and the many intelligence services tracking our moves. All of the people running these outfits strongly believe in the dictatorship of the managerial elite. They see the Musk project as a direct challenge to the system, so they will oppose it.

Even if Musk was not walking headlong into the civilizational abattoir known as managerialism, large scale social media was always doomed. The reason is people self-segregate and they do this because they do not enjoy conflict. It is only the spiteful mutants who enjoy constant turmoil. The other 80% of humanity just want to talk about their stuff with other likeminded people. This is why all previous large scale social media projects eventually disaggregated.

While the whole thing is amusing, it should also serve as a reminder to dissidents that this abomination we call modernity is unnatural. Projects like Twitter that were supposed to control the culture run counter to human nature. Mother Nature is undefeated in this area, which is why the graveyard of intellectual thought is littered with the ideas that challenged human nature. Musk will fail for the same reason the ghouls before him failed with Twitter. It runs contrary to our nature.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Idiocracy

Note: The Monday Taki post is up and it is related to the topic of the day. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door so if you do not have a subscription, get one. SubscribeStar and Substack.


For most people, travel has always been looked upon as the necessary evil, a thing you get through in order to get somewhere. That week on the beach in Florida during the winter means a day of torment at airports to get there. The trip back is extra miserable because you are tired from having fun all week. Experienced travelers, on the other hand, figure out the system and it becomes a habit of mind. You know how it works so you know how to make it work for you.

Before Covid, the thing I could see was that the system was simply overloaded at various key points. The security system, for example, had broken down. At some airports you would wait over an hour for totally disinterested TSA workers to process you through the system. In Europe, you would hustle from line to line to clear passport control, when the only actual check was a zombified worker looking at the millionth passport that day and waving you along.

Covid cured that by first reducing travel to the absolute minimum and then conditioning people to not want to travel. An overlooked result of the almost two years of stay at home orders is people got used to staying home. In overgrown metro areas like Washington DC, working at home is common. Business travel never bounced back because everyone is used to Zoom sessions now. Now, economic concerns have put a damper on the travel business.

You see this at airports. I have been on the road a a fair bit this year and the one thing I keep seeing is light traffic at airports. There are fewer flights, so they are just as full, but the number of people in the concourse is still below the pre-Covid days. The travel industry claims things are bouncing back, but they lie like everyone else these days, so I trust my lying eyes rather than their lying mouths. This year on my travels I have not run into the volume issues anywhere in the system.

I just returned from Nashville, which is a sprawling metropolis full of strangers from other stranger lands. That is a recipe for a mobbed airport before a holiday. In the old days, the Sunday before Thanksgiving would have been nuts and got increasingly nuts through the week. The reason is all of the newly arrived mountain folk would have headed back to where they belong for the long holiday. Instead, the airport was as quiet as I have seen an airport in ages.

On the other hand, something else is happening. At BWI on Friday I tried to buy a beverage at one of the shops and the non-English speaking clerk just said something that sounded like “no work” to people. The payment system was down, as best I could tell, so she was left to chase away customers. I was reminded of the scene from the movie Idiocracy where the heroes arrive at Costco. The great thing about that scene is you realize the system can stagger on a long time.

On the plane, one of the flight crew sounded like a satirical version of how a waifu would sound if it came to life. The other was a local girl, for sure. Her accent and heavy use of local slang was oddly amusing. There was a third person on the crew who was the greeter at Costco in the above clip. I got the sense that he was in training, but it could simply be that he was not allowed to work unsupervised. He liked tossing packs of snacks at people from a few rows distance.

At Nashville, the crew at the Alamo rental counter was another collection of extras from that frighteningly prophetic movie. There was no line but a mass of people waiting, so I knew right away they were out of cars. The three clerks just stared out into space like they had been smoking weed prior to my arrival. Finally, one acknowledged my existence and waved me over to his station. He silently processed my order and then grunted about the wait and pointed to the mob.

Ninety minutes latter I was handed a rental agreement by another silent type who pointed to the door. He was a tall white guy so I think he was American, but I never saw him speak to anyone, including the weed smoking fellow clerks, so maybe he was a mute or possible an automaton from Europe. They have those now. I then headed through the garage to the rental car area where there was another mob of people waiting for their rental car to arrive.

The local attendant was a black guy and judging by his accent I deduced he was a local guy, rather than an automaton from the very southern Europe area. He realized that his company was screwing these people, so he tried to make up for it by being extra nice and apologetic, suggesting he had a soul and cared about his work. It turns out that the main delayed was they were out of car washers. That was the bottleneck in the system and he said it has been a problem for weeks.

Now, I could see the check in lane. I could see at least a half dozen Alamo workers there doing nothing as there were no cars to check in. Sunday morning is when lots of cars arrive, but Sunday afternoon is when the cars leave for the week. There were, of course, the crew of zombies at the rental counter. No where did I see anyone that would be in charge of anything. What I was experiencing was systemic break down due to a collapse of the smart fraction in the system.

On the return trip I got to the airport quite early. I had booked extra time in the trip back because of what I saw Friday. I was imagining the Alamo crew running TSA and me missing my flight because of a three hour line. Instead, the airport was weirdly quiet, even for a Sunday morning. Having extra time, I asked the Southwest person if I could change to an earlier flight. I had checked on my phone and saw a flight I could get on that arrived in Lagos much earlier than my current flight.

She silently took my ID and stared at the screen for an uncomfortably long time, which did not fill me with confidence. She then said the only thing she could do was put me on standby, so I said no and expected to get my ID back. Instead, she said to me that I was no longer on my original flight. After some back and forth, I learned that she had cancelled my original flight first and then tried to book me on the new flight, without bothering to tell me what she was doing.

What I realized was the woman was not malicious or disinterested, but that she was simply too stupid to perform her job. She was clearly panicked by what she had done as she now had an angry customer in front of her. Since I have a million points with Southwest and belong to their club, I called customer service while standing in front of the woman and explained the deal. They had me hand my phone to the woman who then followed instructions to fix my flight.

I was now booked on the earlier flight and pre-boarded. Because I only use Southwest for domestic travel, I always get the A-group and usually top-10. On this flight I had been checked in as A1, so I guess they thought bumping me up to pre-board was the required compensation for the screwup. I could not help but notice that they then announced that the flight was overbooked and one person would be asked to give up his seat in exchange for a $500 credit.

In Lagos, I learned that my bag had been sent on a separate journey. I expected this given what had happened at the other end. I went to the baggage claim office and was greeted by a local girl listening to very loud hip-hop music. She silently tapped on the screen for twenty minutes and out popped a single sheet of paper with about fifty words of original content. That is right. She needed twenty minutes of concentration to enter my information into the system.

Like everywhere in the system, the thing I noticed was not the low quality of human capital at the front end. That has not changed all that much. Most frontline jobs at an airport are filled with people who show up. The real issue was a near total lack of supervision all along the way. There was no one riding heard on these people to make sure they avoided error. The 21st century has begun and the evolutionary process has changed and is going in the opposite direction.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Great Stupidification

If you were alive in 1985 it would have been perfectly normal for you to argue with your liberal friends about the issues of the day. This was the time of the Great Interregnum, when it was possible to have open debate about most topics. People like Peter Brimelow and Jared Taylor were allowed on television to speak their minds about topics that are now totally forbidden. There were some limits, but for the most part everyone accepted that everything can and should be discussed.

It is hard to imagine such a condition, given the world of harsh censorship that we experience today. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but daytime talk shows would regularly have people on who claimed to be fascists. The host would make sure to let the audience know they were bad guys, but they got to say their piece. Holocaust deniers and black nationalist also were part of these shows. It was entertainment, for sure, but these people still got on the big stage.

Then as now the people we call the Left in America controlled the institutions, but forty years ago there more confident. The typical liberal person was fine debating a typical conservative, because they thought they were right. Both sides figured a good dose of facts and reason would bring the other side around. The people putting Black Hebrew Israelites on daytime television were sure that once people got a look at these people, they would laugh and then forget about them.

The thing that has been lost in all of the censorship and cancellation campaigns is the panic that motivates these things. The people trying to purge the public square of normal debate are doing so out of fear. That fear comes from a lack of confidence and that is driven by a sharp decline in intellect. The Great Fear we are experiencing is mostly due to a growing intellectual darkness that is consuming the liberal class that controls the institutions of cultural production.

You can get a sense of it from the Twitter drama. Musk bought a company that had 7,500 fulltime employees and 5,500 contractors. He summarily fired half of the staff and ninety percent of the contractors. Twitter has not gone dark or failed to work properly since the mass layoffs. It appears there were sabotage efforts, but those have either failed or were found out before they could be executed. In other words, half of the people working at the firm contributed nothing.

Slowly we are getting some insider accounts of what life was like for the people inside this company and it offers an insight into the rest of the hive. Most of the “workers” did no actual work, even people employed as programmers. Instead, they spent their days playing make believe, creating things like workers co-ops and support groups for increasingly exotic identities. Twitter had become an adult daycare center that catered to the needs of the increasingly unfit.

If this was going on at Twitter, a company that had to try and make a profit, imagine what happens in places with no need to turn a profit? It explains why CNN turned into 24-hours freak show. They were collecting over a billion a year in revenue through the tax farming system that is your television service. Corporate activism threw billions more onto their coffers for political reasons. When ratings ceased to be a concern, it is no wonder Don Lemon was their featured star.

The most extreme example, the engine of wokeness in the modern age, is the American academy, which is totally disconnected from reality. Hundreds of billions pour into the system regardless of the product. Small private colleges tend to be more practical because they have to make ends meet, but even there they have found a way to get on the free money gravy train. Oberlin College is a finishing school for the mentally unstable females of bourgeois America.

The American university is awash in cash, so the administrators are free to indulge the whims of the infantilized faculty. In fact, all of the selection pressure is in favor of the sorts of people who fall for these ridiculous academic fads. Absurdity and stupidity have become moral signifiers on campus. Empiricism and probity are now seen as the sins of the white power structure. Acting white is now the greatest sin, so the inhabitants seek to produce the most antiwhite fads possible.

The great stupidification of America is obvious in the language. The great and good now salt their language with abracadabra words like disinformation. The fact that they regularly confuse disinformation with misinformation is the tell. The hair-hat on CNN wailing about disinformation on-line has no idea what the word means nor does he even care, because for him it just means forbidden. Like a chimp flinging his poo at an enemy, he flings the word disinformation at the audience.

Conspiracy theory is another popular abracadabra word. The World Economic Forum posted on Twitter a video they labeled The New World Order. This is a phrase they have been using for decades. Twitter then puts a warning on the tweet that reads, “The New World Order is a conspiracy theory which hypothesizes a secretly emerging totalitarian world government.” Clearly, the term “conspiracy theory” now simply means anything the hive mind has banned from the hive.

The hive now has lots of these words and phrases. They seem to think they just need to position one of these magic words next to the thing they fear and it will magically disappear from their presence. Alternatively, if they label someone with one of their magic words enough times, that person will disappear. The dullards at the ADL now believe if they chant “antisemitism” enough times everyone they hate, which is 70% of the population, will simply vanish.

This is not the behavior of intelligent and confident people. This is the mindset of a primitive man, terrified of the world around him, so he embraces various rituals and incantations to provide him protection from the unknown. Instead of chanting a magic phrase to invoke the gods, the modern progressive chants “racism” and “fascism” to chase away the evil spirits they are sure lurk in the shadows. This is why public debate has suddenly become impossible.

It has been said that the Eskimos have many words for snow. The reason is snow plays a huge role in their life, so they need a nuanced understanding of it. Similarly, the modern progressive has many words for outsider. The reason is they are obsessed with the imaginary wall between themselves and the outside world. The reason all of these magic words mean outsider is the obsession is the wall. The modern progressive is defined by that wall, so it is his obsession.

What appears to have happened within the managerial class is that the smart fraction is slowly being overwhelmed by the deranged faction. Twitter is a good example of how an insulated institution succumbs to bourgeois excess. This is surely happening all over government, just as it is happening in the academy. Work still gets done, but the capable are now dragging a massive sack filled with gender theorists and critical race theory workshop participants. The burden is becoming unbearable.

Twitter may be a foreshadowing of what comes next. Now that the election system has been fortified for democracy, the ruling class can begin to relax. The threat is receding so they can begin to shed the defense system of howling lunatics they accumulated over the last decades. Like Twitter hacking off its useless parts, we may see something similar across the ruling class. These useless primitives are no longer worth the cost of carrying them, so they will be cut loose.

On the other hand, Twitter could be a rearguard action. The Marching Morons solution is no longer possible, because the smart fraction within the managerial elite has already been overcome by the crazies and stupid. The people who had to be protected from criticism because they were too weak cannot be challenged now, because they are too strong, so they will now define the managerial elite. The system will collapse under the weight of its own stupidification.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Third Rate Managers

Starting somewhere in the middle of the last century, American corporations decided that they needed to invest in developing their managers. Historically, American business relied on nature and the tools of society to cultivate their workforce. The workers would get a basic education in the public schools. Natural talent and upbringing would sort the workforce the rest of the way. The best and brightest would naturally rise through the ranks to populate the management layer.

This was slowly replaced in the 20th century with a new model where senior management implemented programs to train their people, but also cultivate the sorts of people who would become managers. In the back quarter of the 20th century leadership training became popular in corporate America. Managers would receive the same sorts of leadership training officers in the military receive. Developing the next generation of corporate leaders is now a hundred billion dollar industry.

Because it has been normalized over several generations, no one notices the contradiction in these programs. All of the people subject to this training are in positions where no one would want leadership. These are administrative jobs filled with people tasked with following the rules. They may be required to supervise others who are also tasked with following rules. These are not positions that demand leadership, but rather roles that demand obedience.

Of course, the military has solved this contradiction. A squad leader is trained to use the materials at his disposal, including his men, to achieve the assigned objective within the rules of the operations. He is not allowed to question the rules of engagement or the objectives of his squad, but he is free to utilize the resources made available to him, plus what he can find on his own. In other words, it is leadership within the artificial construct of the military system.

Corporations borrow this general idea. The want their managers to be goal oriented and use the resources available to them to achieve the goal. The shipping manager does not select the shippers or what gets shipped, but he is given a crew, tools to box and ship items and certain goals to meet. He gets to select within a limited number of options how best to get the assigned items shipped out and the incoming items received into the shipping department.

Another way this is put is they want the shipping manager to take ownership of his department like it is his business. It is not his business and will never be his business, but they seek to trick him into acting as if it is his business. That way he will sacrifice, and perhaps encourage his people to sacrifice, in order to meet the goals laid out for him by his superiors. Like the actual owner of a business, he will act as if there is no separation between him and his work.

All of this leadership training sounds good in theory, even if it contains a central contradiction, but there is another problem. The nature of management and the nature of man tell us that the last thing a manager will want is a natural leader as one of his direct reports. That hotshot in shipping could get noticed by the big bosses and be promoted up the ladder, perhaps at the expense of his boss. Systemic pressure will always reward obedience over leadership.

It is the old line about leadership. First rate men attract first rate men, while second rate men attract third rate men. To a great degree, this is the problem that leadership training is trying to address. The people at the top, the senior managers, want to keep the pot bubbling so that they can spot the managers with potential and promote them into middle management. They do not want the natural talent boiling off because it is blocked by a ceiling of mediocrity.

The military has always suffered from this problem. Peacetime armies tend to develop a leadership class that is good at politics, but not war fighting. Wars always result in changes at the top and a restructuring of the officer class. We have seen this in the Ukraine war where both sides have changed their command structure in response to the reality on the ground. Corporations suffer the same phenomenon; except they lack war to force a pruning of the system.

The exception to this is the private company. The owner is there and he has every reason to find the best people to populate his ranks. Elon Musk has fired half the Twitter staff because they were there to serve the goals of managers, not owners, so as far as he was concerned, they were useless. The owner of the business does not need leadership training in the corporate sense, because he does not have to be trained to take ownership, as he is the owner.

This is the dilemma facing America. It is a society run by managers who have turned the owners into passive share holders. This is managerialism. Like a publicly traded company, the owners care only about returns. The overall management of society is left to a class of managers. Those managers, in addition to making sure the owners think they are getting a positive return, have the additional goal of making sure they remain the senior managers of the system.

Like senior management in a corporation or the senior officers in a peacetime army, the management class of America is primarily concerned with preserving their position at the top of the system. That requires them to always be on the lookout for people down the ranks who could be a threat. The solution to that is the solution all second rate men find and that is to promote third rate men. The managerial system that runs America selects for decreasingly talented managers out of necessity.

You see this with the Twitter situation. Elon Musk replaced a collection of ridiculous people with himself and a small team of his people. When you examine the titles of the people wiped out in the first wave of layoffs, it is clear they played no role in the profitability of the company, other than as an expense. They and their roles existed to serve the narrow interests of management. They were of no use to a genuine owner taking an active role in the running of the company.

Managerialism was on display in the past election. Mitch McConnell diverted tens of millions of dollars to safe Senate races, but starved out many contested ones, because that served his interests as the senior manager of the party. It is better for him that a third rate zombie like Murkowski returns to the Senate than a potential threat like Blake Masters gets promoted into the Senate. Instinctively, Mitch McConnell selects third rate people because it serves his interest.

That is the key to understanding the current crisis. The system selects for the sorts of people who naturally become Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi. Even the richest people are forced to select between two narrowing options. The second rate men select third rate men who in time take their place at the top, selecting for people who will be non-threatening to their position. Managerialism always ends with incompetence at the top and that fosters a culture of paranoia.

This is the inherent contradiction in managerialism. It is supposed to check the power of the ownership class, but it ends up replacing it with an increasingly incompetent management class. That management class, sensing its own vulnerability, selects for increasing incompetent people up and down the system. It is how we have a political system run by octogenarians promoting brain damaged zombies and obsequious sycophants into the highest offices in the system.

This always ends one way. In the corporate sphere, companies like Twitter either go bust or they get taken over by ownership. In the military sphere the rulers are forced to replace the politicians in the officer ranks with genuine wartime leaders. For the managerial society, the result is systemic collapse and replacement with a modified form of private rule. This is what happened with the Soviet Union. Communism was replaced with a form of oligarchy.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Not Even Wrong

Note: The Monday Taki post is up and it is related to the topic of the day. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door so if you do not have a subscription, get one. SubscribeStar and Substack.


A new paper on the long term impact of slavery and Jim Crow is making the rounds with the usual suspects. The paper claims to have studied the life outcomes of black descendents of freedmen, which were the blacks who were out of slavery before the start of Civil War. This group is then compared to the descendents of those who were only made free after the Civil War. The latter group has lower education, income, and wealth today than the former group.

Steve Sailer has filled up the comments section on the post about it at Marginal Revolution, telling the world it is not nature or nurture. It is both. This is a favorite hobbyhorse of the older HBD crowd. They seem to think this is a compromise their detractors will accept. This is always wrong because their detractors make moral arguments, for which there can be no compromise. For them it is always nurture and those who say otherwise are evil.

The study assumes that those who were freed at the end of the Civil War resided in states that eventually adopted Jim Crow laws. This deprived them of things like education that were available to blacks in other states. The other assumption is that blacks in the north had easy access to education, while blacks in the South were not allowed to read. This cartoon version of our social history is part of the larger morality tale that drives the civic religion of the managerial class.

The big problem with this study is that we have to assume that the freedman and the slave were cognitively equal, on average. That is a rather big assumption that is not based in the historical record. We have mountains of contemporaneous accounts suggesting that freedman were extraordinary blacks who earned their freedom in various ways. Freedman often continued in service to their former owner, but as a paid employee rather than as a slave.

There is a better than average chance that the freedman in the 19th century were significantly smarter than their enslaved counterparts. Some may have been clever enough to escape and make a life in the north. Others may have provided such great service to their owner that they were freed as a reward. In other words, the descendents of freedmen may have done better because their ancestors were smarter than the general slave population that was eventually set free.

There is also the problem with assuming that Jim Crow deprived blacks in the South of an education. We know that black illiteracy sharply declined in the first half of the twentieth century. At the start of the century, about a quarter of blacks in the South were literate, while 80% of whites could read. By 1950 the gap had closed to a few points, which says blacks were getting at least a basic education. Depending on the study, it appears that black literacy has declined since 1950.

The far larger problem is the assumption that social policies cast a shadow long after they have been eliminated. If we use 1965 as the end of Jim Crow, then we are onto the third generation who never experienced these laws. Despite the massive efforts to address the racial gaps, the gaps remain. In some cases, like literacy and illegitimacy rates, the gaps have grown larger. The whole cause and effect relationship starts to fall apart quickly when you look at the data.

Even if we can adjust for all of these factors and make a case that modern black people are suffering in some measurable way from ancient polices, so what? If the point is to compensate them in some way, as the restorative justice crowd demands, you create a moral contradiction that cannot be resolved. Compensation is a contract imposed on at least two parties to the contract. The side receiving it must accept and the side providing it must also accept.

The logic of compensation starts with the assumption that one party is at fault and caused measurable harm to the other party. Even if you wish to pretend modern black people are victims of policies that have been gone for generations, you cannot pretend that there is anyone alive today who can be held liable. The slave owners have been dead for over a century. They were all ruined in the Civil War. The creators of Jim Crow have also been dead for generations.

Then you have the problem with compensation. For it to be just, it must compensate the aggrieved party for measurable harm. There is no way to compensate someone for hurt feelings or a loss of cultural pride. This cannot be measured. Compensating someone for pain and suffering is a convoluted way of punishing the guilty party in order to discourage the offending behavior. The court fines the offending party and hands the money to the victim.

Punishing modern white people for behavior they did not do in order to prevent them from doing the thing they did not do is grotesquely immoral. In one of life’s many ironies, it is similar to the German principle of Sippenhaft. This is the claim that the clan or family shares responsibility for the crimes of a member. The difference is that there is no claim here that the group being punished had any role in the alleged crime, because the alleged crime happened generations ago.

Of course, logic and morality do not matter here. At least not the sort of logic and morality that makes civilized life possible. People cook up these papers because they serve the interests of the people who underwrite this stuff. The audience for this material needs to believe they are justified in their hatreds. Without a holy book or supernatural authority, they are left to conjure some other justification for what has evolved into an intergenerational blood feud.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Moral Divide

Note #1: I was on with Mike Ferris to have a causal chat about current events and the midterm elections. You can listen here. The Monday Taki post is up and it is related to the topic of the day. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door so if you do not have a subscription, get one. SubscribeStar and Substack.

Note #2: If you post a comment and it disappears or says something about it being in moderation, do not keep hitting submit. Do not change the wording thinking you will game the robots. Be patient. I check moderation several times every hour so your post will appear shortly. The best way to avoid moderation is to not link to video or images, as they always get flagged and I rarely approve them.


Every human society has a set of rules that define the society and answer the most fundamental question for any human society. You cannot have a society without first answering the question, who are we? History and biology do the heavy lifting for large human societies, while smaller societies, like social clubs, will have some sort of founding document to define the society. Of course, constitutions are not just for small scale societies. Big countries have them too.

The United States has had at least three unifying concepts. Originally, what held America together was a common religion. The founding generation were English people who practiced a common form of Christianity. Subsequently, the country was held together by republican virtue. A civic religion based around the liberal principles in the Bill of Rights. This was replaced in the 20th century with the melting pot idea, where diverse people emerge from the crucible of liberty as one people.

Throughout our history, in every framing of American unity, a set of principles has defined the morality of American society. First and foremost, Americans have the unfettered right to speak their minds, even to those in positions of authority, without fear of retribution. Free speech, the freedom of belief, the freedom to assemble and the freedom to do all of these to petition the government for the redress of grievances is the first principle of American morality.

There are other moral principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights. The right of self-defense, even from the government, is in the Second Amendment. The Fourth Amendments prevents the state from spying on citizens. The Fifth Amendment prevents double jeopardy and compulsory self-incrimination. The things we think of as our rights are enumerated in the Bill of Right, but in practice these are the moral principles we consider to be beyond questioning.

It is those rights in the First Amendment that are the most sacred to Americans, as they are the cornerstone of American morality. The right to believe what you want to believe, say those beliefs out loud and organize fellow believers to promote your beliefs is the encapsulation of the American identity. It is not just how Americans see themselves, but how the rest of the world defines American identity. The rest of the world may not like what we say, but they envy our right to say it.

This is what makes the assaults on Kanye West and Kyrie Irving important. These two are not simply getting jeered by detractors. There is a highly organized effort to destroy their lives and strip from them their most basic right. In the case of Irving, he has been told that he must publicly condemn the movie he promoted and denounce everyone involved in it. This is what the Red Guards did to their victims. They were forced to publicly confess and wear dunce caps in public.

There is also the race issue. Black people in America get a free pass on speech, even when their speech offends common decency. Kanye West promotes himself as a Christian, but he got rich in a business built on peddling vulgarity, violence, drug taking and criminality. Everyone has been forced to use euphemisms in order to discuss crime, because blacks get special treatment. Here we are, however, with two famous black people forced into a humiliation ritual.

What this suggests is the bigots opposed to this core moral tenet, the right to speak freely and without fear of retribution, have removed themselves from what we have always considered the fundamental morality of America. Bigot is the correct word, as a bigot is someone obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices and intolerant of those outside their group. This is the factionalism that the Founders warned was incompatible with a republic.

Kanye West and Kyrie Irving are ridiculous people whose heads are full of nonsense, but these are the people who have always been the proof case. In our society, we tolerate ridiculous people with nonsense in their heads. To paraphrase Jefferson, we try to set them right to the facts. If they remain unpersuaded, we persuade everyone else to ignore them. From time to time, the ridiculous guy spouting nonsense turns out to be right and we are all better for it.

That is unlikely to be the case here, but it is not the point. What this incident reveals is that there is a moral divide. There is no middle ground when it comes to these moral principles that define American civilization. There is no ADL exemption to our moral code that permits this. There is no moral scold clause that permits the SPLC to organize an economic war on Elon Musk. These people have chosen to remove themselves from our common morality.

The moral separation is at the very heart of American identity. The Declaration of Independence is a moral document that spells out how the colonies and Great Britain no longer shared the same moral space. Because the colonies had evolved a new moral code that was different from that of the mother country, it was necessary that the colonies break free from the mother country. Two people who lack a common more code must separate from one another.

What normal Americans now face is the dilemma imagined by Hans Hermann-Hoppe when thinking through the challenges of a libertarian society. Hoppe has tried to address a well known contradiction in libertarian theory. How can a libertarian society deal with people who embrace socialism or monarchism? If your principles prevent the use of coercion, what do you do when members of a libertarian society embrace something contrary to libertarianism?

The starting place of every human society is that set of moral principles that answers the most fundament question for every human society, who are we? What must be done when a segment of society decides they are no longer us? This is what the bigots are presenting to the rest of us. They refuse to uphold our morality, the thing that defines us as a people, so they are in effect making war on us. How should we defend ourselves from this assault on our very nature?


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


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Storytelling

Imagine you are presented with evidence of some sort, maybe pictures of a crime scene or some sort of accident. You see all of the physical evidence and you are given three stories to explain what you see. Each version is presented by a person who comes into the room to give their theory of the event. What we know about human nature tells us that you will agree with the best storyteller. Even if his story requires some leaps of logic.

Humans have been telling each other stories since we acquired language. Much of our social activity is story telling. When you go to a party, everyone there tells each other stories about their lives, their experiences, current events and so on. Some people are better at storytelling than others. These people tend to get invited to more social events, because they are entertaining and therefore pleasing. Even if they polish the apple a bit, people still like a good storyteller.

This is most obvious in politics. Ronald Reagan was famous for his short, pithy stories he would tell audiences on the stump. Sometimes they were just funny and other times they had a point. In the latter case, that point had something to do with some larger political point he was making. In the former case the story relaxed the audience and made them more open to his pitch. A man who can tell a good story is always someone we feel we can trust, even if we disagree with him.

Storytelling can be a highly effective form of logic. A persuasive storyteller will start with a set of objective facts. These are things that even a skeptical audience will accept as being true. Then the speaker provides a narrative to explain those facts and tie them to some cause, like a person or group of people. The narrative is presented in such a way that it appears to be the simplest and most likely explanation. For the listener, there is not obvious reason to dispute the conclusion.

This is a form of abductive reasoning. The conclusion is not proven in the sense that all other explanations have been eliminated. It is not proven in a scientific sense in that the causes are demonstrated to result in the stated conclusion. There is some doubt that the causal relationship is true, but it seems to be true and there is no obvious proof that it is not true. If the narrative is presented by a persuasive and charismatic speaker, then the listener is disinclined to question the conclusion.

The writer Ben Novak wrote a book explaining how Adolf Hitler was able to use the power of narrative to persuade the German people. For those looking for the short version, Greg Johnson reviews it here. The key to Hitler’s success as a politician was his ability to reframe events in such a way that changed how people viewed those events and the people involved in those events. Hitler changed the way in which people interacted with their world through his speeches.

Getting back to the example of three people trying to explain images from what looks like a crime scene, the reason you will go with “the best explanation” is that your brain has an idea of what the best answer is before you hear the stories. If you hear three dry presentations, then you will pick the one that matches the one in your head. On the other hand, if one is presented by a great storyteller and he takes you on a journey to an entirely new conclusion, your mental model will change.

Take a step back and the three great ideologies of the last century were basically narratives that framed how people experienced politics. The communist narrative was a story of class struggle. The workers versus the capitalists. The liberal democratic narrative was the story of political struggle. The people versus the powerful interests that rule every society. Fascism was the story of national struggle, the people versus the internationalists who run the global economy.

The point of all this is that human beings have evolved to understand the world through a mental framework. We have a conception of how the world works and we process information through that framework. That framework is the product of our upbringing, our experiences and the culture in which we live. It is not a permanent part of our consciousness that forms and remains static. It evolves and therefore it can be altered by new experiences, like a great story from a great speaker.

We see this in the current election cycle. Gavin Newsome, the governor of California, says his party is in trouble because they are “getting crushed on narrative.” It is not the economy or culture; their problem is they have not presented a “compelling alternative narrative” to the Republicans. No one can tell you what the Republican narrative is, but he is sure it must be better. How else can one explain why voters appear to be moving against the Democrats next week?

This incredible op-ed in the Financial Times lays the blame for inflation at the feet of the storytellers, rather than economic policy. You see, corporations are taking advantage of inflation to raise prices higher than necessary. They can do this because “the power of storytelling has conditioned consumers to accept price rises.” You see, “consumers seem to be buying stories that seem to justify price increases, but which really serve as cover for profit margin expansion.”

What those two examples suggest is that the great promoters of liberal democracy think the tenets of liberal democracy are nonsense. The politicians think people are morons who will fall for a good story, rather than vote their interests. The economists think consumers are not swayed by prices but by irrational beliefs. The premise of liberal democracy is that people understand their interests. If given the chance in a democratic system or a market economy, they will express those interests.

In reality, people will go along with that which keeps them in good standing with their fellows, even if it is against their interests. It is why a good storyteller can be so effective in liberal politics. He can get the crowd nodding along. Each member sees those around him agreeing to the pleasing story. Even if the story is clearly against his interests, he will justify nodding along with it. After all, every human brain has a narrative of sacrifice built into it at a young age.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that makes coffee. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.